Vanilla Marshmallows

This weekend I’m at Reading Festival and though I’ll be sunning myself with a nice cold drink in hand (or what will be more likely: freezing in the rain in a cheap waterproof clutching a flat, warm cider in the hopes the alcohol will warm me up) in front of some amazing live bands in a field down south, I still wanted to share with you what I’ve been making in the last few weeks!

Despite sounding a little bit negative back there, I love it when festival season comes around in England; wearing short shorts with wellies becomes a norm, supermarkets get stocked up to the masses with cider and disposable barbecues and you discover loads of new music that will always remind you of a fulfilled summer whenever you hear it. I just can’t wait to get stuck into the muddy music-filled mess and let myself shut off from the real word for a few days!

One thing I’ll definitely be indulging myself on this weekend will be a nice hot chocolate with a few chunky marshmallows thrown in for good measure to warm me up in a morning and delay the inevitable hangovers kicking in! This in mind, I thought my newest favourite recipe would be perfect to share with you this weekend.

Has anyone else been watching Sweets Made Simple on BB2 the last few weeks? This new cooking show is the brainchild of Hope and Greenwood, the confectioners that make the cutest sweets going and I’ve been loving watching it and taking notes on what treats to try next to fix all my sweet-tooth cravings. In their first episode they made Raspberry Ripple Marshmallows that looked absolutely gorgeous and after raiding the cupboards and finding a few sachets of gelatine these were the first things that I wanted to try and make. Unfortunately we were a little low on raspberries at home so I decided to start simple and try a basic vanilla marshmallow recipe instead.

Unlike the recipe Hope and Greenwood (and many other confectioners) use, this recipe doesn’t contain corn syrup, so the marshmallows aren’t overly sweet and sickly, and the ingredient list doesn’t need to break the bank.

These are honestly the softest marshmallows I have ever eaten, they are like little sqidgy pillows and the compliments I have received from them have been lovely! This is a great ‘blank canvas’ recipe too, as you can replace the water and vanilla extract with other flavoured juices/liquids/syrups to create different flavoured goodies, lots of which I will be sharing with you soon! 🙂 They are the perfect mid-afternoon nibble but also make brilliant gifts wrapped in some clear cellophane and contrasting ribbon, get making some today! What’s your favourite sweet-shop treat?

Ingredients (Makes 50 Marshmallows)

2.5 Tbsp Powdered Gelatine (Approximately 24g or two sachets worth)

8 Tbsp Cold Water

350g Caster Sugar (or 375g Granulated Sugar)

125ml Cold Water

½ Tsp Salt

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Icing Sugar, for dusting

Recipe

– Dust a rectangular dish (approx. 12″ x 7″) with icing sugar, add the powdered gelatine and 8 tbsp of cold water to a measuring jug and leave both to one side for later.

In a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan pour in the sugar and 120ml cold water and heat on a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, sitting constantly with a wooden spoon.

Once the sugar has dissolved, add the gelatine (which will now look a little like golden clumpy jelly) and stir well.

Turn up the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil and let the mixture boil for 1 minute before removing from the heat.

Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a large, ceramic or glass mixing bowl with the salt and vanilla extract taking care not to burn yourself on the extremely hot sugar mix. Leave in the bowl to cool for another 10 minutes.

When 10 minutes are up, whisk the mix with an electric mixer until it is soft, glossy and has approximately doubled in volume (this can take between 10 -15 minutes).

Pour the glossy mixture into the prepared dish and let it cool for a few minutes before transferring to the fridge to set completely.

After about an hour in the fridge, they will be firm enough to cut but will still be quite sticky – dust a sharp knife with icing sugar and have a bowl of excess sifted icing sugar to one side.

Cut the marshmallows into squares (or whatever other shape may take your fancy) and dust on sides with the sugar to stop them from sticking to everything they touch.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container, where they will keep for up to a week (if you can resist them for that long)!

 

Helena x

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